What else are you doing as you read this blog post? Seriously, think about it.
Even as I’m writing this blog, my mind is in a million different places. My phone buzzes that an email has just come in, so of course, I need to look. My knuckles need cracking. I wonder what I should make for dinner tonight? My friend sent me an awesome recipe today. Do I have all the ingredients at home? Wait, I wonder what my next blog post should be…
Jon Kabat Zinn, founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction defines mindfulness as, “awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”
So, in order to bring myself back into the present moment, so I can focus on the task at hand, I do a couple of things:
- Count Your Breath. There are many breathing techniques that can help balance the stresses of everyday life. This article talks about focusing on the air flowing through your body and using your belly. And here, Dr. Andrew Weil demonstrates the 4-7-8 technique; the gist is:
- Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4
- Hold 7
- Breathe out through your mouth for a count of 8
- To not be a stressball, get a stress ball. Or better yet, make one! I recently saw this DIY rainbow stress ball on Facebook and decided to try it. Super easy, cheap to make, and has many surprising benefits.
- Relieve tension. The action of squeezing and releasing muscles can help reduce tension.
- Center yourself in the moment. Using a stress ball can be a great way to practice mindfulness. Focus on the ball. How does it feel in your hands? What do the beads feel like when they move? What do the colors look like as the beads move? What is the texture of the balloon?
- Help prevent mindless snacking. Keeping your hands occupied with the stress ball might help you from grabbing that extra snack.
Just a couple notes on if (WHEN) you make your stress ball. Water beads are advertised for kids, but I personally wouldn’t let young kids use them. Especially not without supervision. And, be careful with how much stress you’re applying to your stress ball (from experience). It can break and the beads will go flying everywhere. And you will find them in all corners of your office for days to come. Just sayin’…
- Put yourself on your schedule. Schedule a meeting with yourself once a day to check-in. You can even put this meeting on your calendar. Okay, now I’m back. I feel like I’m in the present. I feel centered. I feel focused. Now, let’s write this blog 😉